More than 1 billion people are now on WeChat.
1 billion. It is a staggering number and is only going to grow and grow. You need to know more about how best to utilize this tool if you are to appeal to your potential B2B customers here in China.
What is WeChat?
WeChat started out in the old days (well, 2011!) as a simple chat app, allowing people to exchange messages for free – mostly targeted to university students. Now it encompasses free voice calls, users can post their pictures and thoughts as public ‘moments’ and you can even pay for things via the virtual wallet.
How do businesses use WeChat?
The most common way is to set up a verified account, where customers scan a QR code and then engage with the account. They can see moments, be contacted with special offers and share content.
This all sounds very B2C – but stay with us…
How can B2B marketers use WeChat?
Personalize your message: You can engage with your target audience on a one to one basis, answering individual queries, asking questions to determine their requirements and building a relationship in a less formal way.
Make the most of the medium: Go on the subway in Shanghai or Beijing at rush hour, and you will see everyone peering into their phones, many of they exchanging messages on WeChat. Your customers have WeChat in the palms of their hands, so make sure you post your content at a time when they will be using their phones.
Timing is everything: People use WeChat in real time, so it is a great way to respond to a customer immediately, and engage with them when they want to interact. Have a plan to always make sure your account is ‘manned’ so you don’t miss the opportunity to convert leads into customers.
Bitesize is best: Sometimes, marketers in China have to consider very complicated proposals on technically complex topics, sometimes not even in their first language. Use WeChat for your B2B business as a way to put small, interesting snippits of information out about your brand.
Connect your website: WeChat has a fairly robust backend – you can connect a mobile-friendly or responsive website to your WeChat channel. This means when you update some news or items on your main website, your WeChat is automatically updated as well. You can also develop simple HTML5 pages to make a more robust experience.
Stay on brand: It is tempting to use the templates that come embedded in WeChat. Take the time to build your WeChat channel using your own brand’s look and feel. It’s worth it to stand out and keep your brand identity stront.
Take a look at our guide for doing B2B marketing in China, and please get in touch with your comments or questions.